Wednesday, January 26, 2005


I'm currently sitting at scenic Gate C6 of the Northwest Airlines terminal at Detroit/Wayne County airport, alternately known as "hell", "purgatory" or most commonly, "fuck this place". I have been sitting here for three and a half hours, waiting to board a prop plane that will take me to a small airport in Moline, MI, at which point a young man will pick me up to drive me 45 minutes to Knox College, where I will be performing what better be a fun show, else I might be forced to take lives.

I won't go into why I've been stranded here, as I've learned that travel horror stories are interesting no one, and should be endured only by family members and significant others (sorry, Kambri!). Suffice to say, fuck Northwest Airlines. Also, no matter how eloquently or hilariously I might describe how miserable my day has been, when it gets right down to it, I'm still a comedian making airplane jokes. Nay.

It's no mystery to me why jokes about airplane food and the airline industry in general have become the universally recognized sign of hack stand up comedy. If you're doing comedy as a "career", chances are you spend more time flying than, say, an algebra teacher or a Starbucks barista. And it's always stressful, even when it's not, and those are the kinds of situations that eventually strike one as funny. Just about every time I travel by plane, something happens to make me think "Hey, this would make a funny stand up bit". Eventually, though, I see the error of my ways before I take my hilarious new "What's up with those tray tables?" material to the stage. Trust me, you don't want to hear it.

I will say that I consider all of my nascent airplane material as a sign that I am, ever so slightly, moving up in the world. Why, I remember the days when I'd only come up with public bus and subway material. After a few years, I moved up to Amtrak jokes, and now finally, planes. Someday, I hope to have 20 solid minutes of material about travelling by private helicopter, a la "Man, don't you hate it when you're going out on a hot date and your hair gets all messed up from the gusts of wind generated by your private helicopter? When are they going to make a styling gel that can deal with that, am I right? 'Extra Hold', my ass!" You know, everyday observational stuff like that.


Okay, it's the next day. Thursday, to be exact. I couldn't get onto the internet from my hotel room last night, so I had to wait to come back to the airport to finish this groundbreaking post. Luckily, I knew I'd have some extra time here at the Moline airport guessed it, I'm waiting through another flight delay. Did I mention "Fuck Northwest"? Yeah. Okay. Onwards and upwards.

The show last night was fun, and the students of Knox college seeme to be a fine young bunch of men and women. But this has definitely been one of those Murphy's Law kinds of trips (and by that I mean that this entire trip has reminded me of a defunct punk rock band). Since I've spent this entire post basically bitching and moaning, I'd like to toss out another heart "F You" to the staff of the Galesburg Ramada Inn, who are among the stupider people on the planet. I'm okay dealing with idiots every now and then, because for the most part stupid people are quite friendly. But the folks at the Ramada displayed a stunning mix jaded apathy and Down Syndrome, two traits that aren't usually found together. When I checked in, I asked them if they had a highspeed internet connection and it was as if I were trying to discuss German philosophy with a bucket of poo. Actually, that would actually make sense on some metaphorical level, but you get my point. Okay, it looks like my plane to Detroit is about to board, so I'll just go ahead and post this. But I've already missed my connecting flight, so I'll probably have time to write about my experience sitting around a country-western karaoke bar after the show last night. Lucky you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Howdy, peoples. I'm writing to you from glorious Washington DC, where people venture from all corners of the world, primarily to go see Fonzi's jacket at the Smithsonian. I am here all week, performing at the DC Improv, which has been pretty damn sweet so far (I've done two of seven shows so far). Among stand up comics, the DC Improv has a reputation as one of the best clubs in the country, and I'm happy to say that it has not disappointed. The crowds have been substantial (for weeknight shows, at least) and better yet, enthusiastic. Most everyone seems to be in the 20-40 age range, and the crowds have seemed unusually bright--yet not so bright that they refuse to laugh at my glorified boobies-and-poo material (thank god).

It's interesting--earlier tonight, I heard someone refer to Washington DC as "Hollywood for ugly people". And while the people here don't seem notably hideous, the assessment does make some sense. This city seems to be full of wide-eyed young people who've moved here from some small town, dreaming of the bright lights of CSPAN. It's not like these kids are hoping to become senators, necessarily. They just want to be part of the glitzy machine that is Washington DC--the lawfirms, the media, the non-profits, etc. Yesterday, I was making use of the WiFi connection at the Borders Books cafe and I silently observed two relatively dorky twentysomethings chatting each other up. In a way, it was your typical boy-hits-on-girl situation. The difference was, these two kids were trading anecdotes about doing volunteer work around the world, subtly trying to one-up each other. And it wasn't "Wow, you were in the Peace Corps?!!", it was more like "Of course you were in the Peace Corps. Who wasn't? But how many tours did you do?" I don't know if the dude ever got the girl's number (or more likely, her Gmail address), but as I was packing up, he did drop perhaps the best "socially conscious guy" pick-up line I've ever heard: "Well, in the village where I was staying, there were fourteen different species of monkeys, so that was nice." Come on ladies, that's got to be worth a handjob, right?

Well, that almost all for now. I'm going to be posting something again tomorrow (no, seriously), if that means anything to you. I've been doing some morning radio here in DC to promote the comedy shows (it's kind of part of the gig), so I'll probably write something about that. And in the meantime, check out this bizarro interview thingy I did for Scene Missing Magazine. A couple of my answers were lifted from this very webpage, but the rest of it is brand new and at least a tiny bit checkle-worthy.

Oh and I probably don't need to say this, but if you live in the DC area, by all means come on out to a show. You can find showtimes on the DC Improv website.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

See Christian *Live* Tonight!

Wow, Christian has posted so little on Tower of Hubris that I have two entries on one page. He is still alive, however, and you can see for yourself tonight at this month's installment of Sob Stories. The details are below. If you are still in need of a Christian FiXegan, check out his New Year's resolutions published on (Scroll down a bit to see Christian's contribution.)

Sob Stories Plug
When the booze beckons or the Nicorette wears off, you're in for another year of low-self esteem. Join us for stories from comics who set themselves up to fail over and over again.

The Marquee
356 Bowery (btwn Great Jones & E. 4th St)
8:00 PM
$5.00 - NO drink minimum!

Christian Finnegan ("Chappelle's Show", "Best Week Ever!") hosts guests Matt Higgins ("Centralia", "Second City"), Liam McEneaney ("Premium Blend"), Marta Ravin ("Premium Blend"), John Hodgman ("Little Gray Books" reading series) and more!